Copyright ©1978, 1986 by Star Agency; Copyright (P)1991 by Dove Audio
THIS IS NOT A KEN FOLLETT BOOK! French authors Ren?-Louis Maurice and Jean-Claude Simo?n wrote the book Cinq Milliards au bout de l'?gout (1977) about Spaggiari's bank heist in Nice. Their work was translated in 1978 by the British author Ken Follett as The Heist of the Century (also published as The Gentleman of 16 July and Under the Streets of Nice). To the outrage of Ken Follett some publishers brought it out as a new Ken Follett book, while it was in fact little more than a rushed through translation
Okay, you got a credit...Ken Follett and Roddy McDowell! Got to have it!!! Well, put that credit back in your pocket, Hoss. The story might have been worth it if Follett had done ALL of the writing. The background information was waaaaaaaaaaay too exacting and waaaaaaaaaay too long. BORING!!!!
I love that Roddy McDowell was narrating. He has such a good command of the English & French languages. With all that said, they must have recorded this book in a London tube loo. I had to keep the volume turned up all the way and then most of the time I could only decipher every other word or so.
This, I'm sad to say was the waste of a monthly credit.
The story itself was okay, especially when remembering that the what happened was factualy, Roddy Mcdowell as the reader was alright, but this not a Ken Follet written account like On Wings of Eagles. Ken Follet was the translator for the acutal French authors. Shame on any publisher and Audible for not making this abundantly clear! I'll buy and read anything Ken Follet writes, and I think I can recognize his wonderful style pretty easily, this was not Ken Follet. Even though I have listened and reviewed, I think I may for the first time try to return a story! While Audible and the publisher have probably done everything legally required, you would have to dig for any refrence to him as just a translator. To me this is all but false advertising! Shame on both!
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I bought this book without knowing anything about it first. I love Ken Follett and I love Nice, so I figure it was win-win.
As the story moved along, I was impressed with Follett’s imagination and ability to weave complex tales and adventures… then toward the end I realized it was a true-crime story! HA HA HA! Just goes to show the old maxim is true: “You can’t make this stuff up!”
I didn’t enjoy the narration. French is my mother tongue and there were a few French sentences in the book. I find that very few English narrators are able to pronounce French words properly! It’s a pet peeve for me. This one was particularly awful – not just little things like pronouncing “rue” as “roo” but so badly accented overall that I could not understand a word!
This is an excellent book. Draws you right in and keeps you there. My only regret is that it's too short! The fact that it's all true makes it all the more fascinating, hearing about how they pulled this off. Excellent narration as well. The recording quality (it's only a 2) is a slight drawback, but don't let this dissuade you. Put on those noise-cancelling headphones and prepare to be transported!
Well written non-fiction... fast paced enough to read as fiction. Typical of Follett's well crafted story telling even though he is a partner author.
Once again Ken Follet takes a little remembered piece of history and tells a fascinating tale everyone will enjoy. Roddy McDowell is the perfect narrator for this story. His reading adds much to the entertainment and understanding of the tale.
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